The Agricultural Stewardship Act of 2006 (HB 2) was passed by the Maryland General Assembly. The legislation requires counties that are certified under the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) Program to receive funding for farmland preservation to establish Priority Preservation Areas (PPAs) in their comprehensive plans and manage them according to certain criteria.

To qualify for and retain certified status, counties are required to designate Priority Preservation Areas (PPAs) through the comprehensive (master) plan process. Counties concentrate their preservation efforts and program funding into their PPAs in order to preserve large contiguous blocks of agricultural and forested land.  Carroll County’s program is recertified every five years.

Participation in the program by interested counties is voluntary. Certified counties enjoy the benefit of retaining 75% of their locally generated agricultural transfer tax revenue, while non-certified counties retain 33%. All retained revenue must be spent or encumbered for qualifying land preservation expenditures within three years of collection or those collected funds are reverted to MALPF.

By participating in the Certification of Local Agricultural Preservation Programs (CLAPP) process, counties are able to use more of their agricultural transfer tax revenue to better support their preservation programs in ways that best meet local goals and needs.

For more information, contact the Ag Pres Program staff at 410-386-2214 or